Symi Island is a small, tranquil island in the Dodecanese islands, just 25 miles northwest of Rhodes. It’s an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere with breathtaking views, hikes along the sea and a more authentic, traditional Greek island experience. When approaching the port, the traditional village that comes into view looks as if it’s a painting, a view that’s hard to take your eyes off of, but within it you’ll find old-world glamor, along with multiple restaurants and tavernas for sampling Symi’s shrimps, a local delicacy. Symi Island Overview A picturesque mountainous island in the Southern Dodecanese near the coast of Turkey north of Rhodes, Symi has a coastline that alternates between sandy shores indented with alluring coves, and steep and rocky stretches. Well it’s still not very well-known to many foreigners, it’s become a haven for tourists from Italy and Britain, resulting in many of the homes being restored after their destruction during the Second World War. It tends to be popular with painters, photographers and hikers; however, there are no tourist zones here – it’s not a place where thick crowds stand around trying to get a peak at a world-famous view or tourists are herded by bus from attraction to attraction, but a destination where you’ll be among locals, sharing their lives. There are a comprehensive selection of businesses and shops, many open year-round, to support the community.

Here you can expect to enjoy pleasant strolls with views overlooking the calm aquamarine sea as well as a practically endless number of beautiful beaches, both sandy and pebbly, many of which can only be reached by boat, and all edged by crystal-clear blue waters. Enjoy browsing or buying in unique shops selling handmade leather goods and dining at seaside tavernas and fine restaurants serving fresh seafood and local gastronomic delights like goat cheese and chickpeas with dill, along with the famous little shrimp known as “Symi’s shrimps.” Symi Island History in a Nutshell The first known historical reference to the island is in Homer’s Odyssey when King Nireus of Symi played a part in the Trojan War by contributing three ships. Symi was occupied by the Dorian and fell under various spheres of influence, including Rhodian, Roman, Byzantine and that of the Knights of St. John who conquered it in 1309. Prosperity began soon after, with the development of boat building, sponge commerce and shipping. The neoclassical mansions that still remain intact today, along many of the island churches, were built during that period. The Turks conquered Symi in 1522, but the Symiots reserved many of their rights, including the freedom of speech and religious expression, by offering gifts to the Sultan. It was a prosperous island thanks to commerce and shipping, which allowed Symiots to support the national war of independence from Turkish rule.

In 1832, the island once again fell under Turkish dominion which lasted for 80 years, when it was succeeded by the Italians. Sponge diving decreased, and motorized ships replaced sails. During World War II, when Symi was bombed by both the Axis and Allies, many Symiots migrated abroad. It came under British military occupation in late 1944, but a few years later, the island and rest of the Dodecanese were incorporated into modern Greece.

Symi At A Glance

Average Flight Time from the UK to Symi 4hours 45mins

Population of Symi

What to See in Symi
Take a cable car and enjoy spectacular views, Discover the City Walls, Discover the magic of the Old Town, Game of Thrones tour, Sea Kayak Tour, Lokrum Island

Towns or islands to visit near Symi  Daytrip to Montenegro or Bosnia Herzegovina, Mljet National Park, Korcula Island, Lopud Island, Sipan Island

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Trips Including Symi

Things to do in Symi

wonderful Greece. Symi island , Dodecanese

The Beaches

There are just a limited number of sightseeing attractions on Symi, with relaxing on the beach and enjoying the scenery one of the top things to do. There is no lack of spectacular stretches here, with some of the most popular including Nos Beach, the closest to the port. It’s an easy walk from town, lined with sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as being the only place on the island to rent jet skis and a variety of water toys. Agi Marina sits in a secluded bay and is the first stop on the water taxi route. It can also be reached on foot from Pedi by walking along the north shore of the bay. Continuing around the bay, there is a path to Agios Nikolaos, another great beach (also accessible via water taxi), with trees providing natural shade. There are also sunbeds and umbrellas as well as a taverna with a traditional menu.

Monastery Panormitis. Symi Island. Greece

Panormitis Monastery

One of the most iconic landmarks on Symi is this monastery which sits on the southwest coast of the island. Built in the 18th century, dedicated to the island’s patron saint archangel Michael, it has an impressive bell tower and two small museums. The monastery itself is also open for visits.

Symi Archaeological Museum

Symi Archaeological Museum

Housed within a traditional Symian home in the Agios Athanasios district, the old part of town, this museum showcases a collection of archaeological artifacts that date from the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. It also has a Byzantine collection along with some folklore exhibits, including traditional furniture, tools, utensils and clothing.

Symi hiking


There are no hiking maps for Symi, but visitors can enjoy some great treks over old donkey trails and pilgrimage routes. A short, approximately half-hour trek from the main harbor will bring you to Niborio beach. It follows a path leading to a little village and beach with a beachside café, and further along, another bay.

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Dubrovnik’s Amazing City Walls

The mighty, durable defensive City Walls of Dubrovnik have endured wars, earthquakes, and the test of time. Throughout history, the Dubrovnik City Walls have never been breached. Constructed in the 12th century, the walls reach a thickness of 6 meters in places and wall heights of up to 25 meters. There are 4 gates, 17 towers, and at least 120 cannons. As you stroll around the perimeter of Dubrovnik, you will be amazed by the sheer size of the City Walls, and the beautiful views.

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Dubrovnik’s Cable Car

For truly spectacular views, the Dubrovnik Cable Car ascends 778 meters during a 4-minute ride. At the destination plateau of Mount Srd, you are rewarded with breathtaking views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town and the Elaphiti Islands. You can dine in the restaurant while enjoying the views, or relax in the coffee bar.

Originally built in 1969, the cable car is your vehicle to panoramic views of the sparkling waters of the Adriatic Sea. On a clear day, you can see 40 miles all around. Truly a memorable destination and a photo opportunity you won’t want to miss.

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Dubrovnik's Old Town Allure

Dubrovnik’s Old Town offers the chance to explore what an actual medieval town was like. Dubrovnik, nicknamed by the famous poet Lord Byron as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Dubrovnik was at its most powerful during the 15th and 16th centuries, rivaling even Venice in prominence. A devastating earthquake in 1667 destroyed almost all the public buildings in Dubrovnik, but miraculously, the city walls remained intact, and Dubrovnik’s churches, monasteries, and palaces were preserved.